Ranger Smith has a split personality, does he not? One minute, he’s Yogi’s friend. Next minute, he’s Mr. Rule Enforcer. That’s the impression one gets reading the Yogi comics for this month 50 years ago.
On May 5th, we kind of get the friendly Ranger Smith. Did you know his name was Bill? I don’t think there was any real continuity for that sort of thing. The teenagers remind me of Gene Hazelton’s drawings; at least thinking about the Gas Genie that Hazelton came up with in the late ‘50s. And Yogi’s expression in the second-to-last panel is a lot different than the comics that people tell me were drawn by Harvey Eisenberg. The Ranger’s lament toward the end is pretty good.
The best part of the May 12th comic is the look of horror on Louie’s face as he peers through the door of his café. You can’t see it too well, but he’s watching through the curtain in the last panel. This comic features the “Yogi is a pain” Ranger Smith. Things evidently have changed since “Yogi Bear’s Big Break” (1958) when the unnamed ranger tried to keep Yogi in Jellystone; Smith is actually happy Yogi has left the park.
Official Smith shows up May 19th, along with Bill Hanna’s beloved Boy Scouts. We get a silhouette panel, too.
Friendly Smith is back on May 26th, enjoying a game of softball with his bear buddies. A nice compact story; the first panel ties in with the final panel. A shame the copy of the last panel isn’t great but you can still get an idea of the composition with Yogi in the foreground and Smith and Boo Boo in the background.
You can click on each cartoon to get a larger image.